ISSN: 2319-5835 

Problems and Practices Related to Menstruation among Adolescent Girls of Dongria Kondh of Rayagada, Odisha, India

Dipanjali Das¹, Rajesh K. Gautam²

¹Research Scholar, Department of Anthropology, Dr. Harisingh Gour Vishwavidyalaya Sagar, MP, India.
²Professor, Department of Anthropology, Dr. Harisingh Gour Vishwavidyalaya Sagar, MP.

Manuscript Timeline
Submitted: June 21, 2022
Accepted: September 28, 2022
Published: October 28, 2022

Frontier Anthropology, 2022, 11: 13-23
©Anthropological Society of Manipur


Original Article

KEYWORDS Puberty, Menstrual Bleeding, Sanitary Napkin, Marital Status, Taboos

Background: The onset of menarche is determined by various intrinsic and extrinsic factors, such as genetics, nutrition, socio-cultural environment, and physical environment. Wide variation was observed in the case of practices related to menarche among the different societies.
Objective: This study mainly focused on age at first menstruation, bleeding days and its association with marital status, taboo, hygiene, and sanitary practices related to menstruation among the adolescent girls of Dongria Kondh, the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG) of Niyamgiri hill of Rayagada district, Odisha, (India).
Material and Method: A total of 320 adolescent girls aged 10-18 years were selected purposively. A semistructured schedule was used for data collection. The ‘Status-quo’ method was used to know the age at menarche (AAM). Both qualitative and quantitative types of data were collected using a semi-structured, pre-tested, and culturally validated schedule. Descriptive statistics and chi-square tests were used for data analysis.
Result: The mean age at menarche was found to be 12.06±0.77 years among adolescent girls. A total of 79.1% of adolescent girls reported regular menstruation, and 53.1% of girls reported dysmenorrhea. An association between bleeding days and marital status was found. The mean age at marriage was 17.25±0.8 years. Unmarried girls have more bleeding days as compared to married. A total of 39.1% of girls are using sanitary napkins, whereas the remaining 60.9% are still using old clothes. The chi-square test shows that the duration of menstruation bleeding is significantly associated with the marital status of adolescent girls (2 =43.695, df =2, p< 0.001).
Conclusion: In the present study, adolescent girls strictly follow irrational taboos. It was found that the use and acceptance of sanitary napkins are increasing among them. Still, some girls practice traditional methods during menstruation, like using old cloth as absorbent and reusing it during every menstrual cycle and following unhygienic practices. Hence, there is an urgent need to improve education and awareness among this tribe about menstrual health.

Corresponding Author: Dipanjali Das, Research Scholar, Department of Anthropology, Dr. Harisingh Gour Vishwavidyalaya Sagar, MP, India,Email:,